Online Insights on fiveAA, Sunday, August 31, 2008

August 31, 2008

Road Kill Cook Book
I was in the Riverland at Berri, South Australia, this past week, running workshops on online marketing, eBay and the various web2.0 technologies applicable to small business, and met Cathy from Emaroo Cottages. They run some holiday accommodation in Broken Hill and Mildura. She mentioned that their website boasted a Road Kill Cook Book, so I had to find out more. Sure enough, this free eBook is available from the website and contains these highlights:

Tender Pot Roast Rump of Emu: This recipe includes an interesting fact that an emu’s eyeball is bigger than its brain, making them high speed, clueless feather dusters on legs. It also includes such immortal recipe directions as – Take the selected rump of emu, remove imbedded bitumen, feathers, and any unwanted additives. Allow to stand for a few days while you search for a pot large enough to cater for the rump. And, rounds off with the unusual, serves 50-60.

Ribbon of Rabbit: The recipe notes that most large truck tyres will have already pulverized the piece into a nice flat ribbon. Soak rabbit overnight to help remove fur, tyre tread patterns and remnants of rubber. Moisten rabbit with garlic, olive oil and oregano and place over hot coals.

Silver City Snake Slithers in Batter: Great advice in this recipe – Ensure the creature is actually deceased, there’s no greater surprise than delivering this little trophy to She of the Kitchen than finding it mostly alive and more than a little grumpy with its ill treatment.

Goat au Gratin: Simply can’t go past this advice – clip its horns and wipe its ass, goat is best served rare.

You can find this book at

I cannot speak more highly of any online tool available. Zamzar is an absolute godsend. This handy utitlity can convert files from one format to another, and even grab YouTube videos for you to download and watch later.

I find it particularly handy for converting Microsoft’s ridiculous .***x extensions to .***. Of particular note, is the ability to convert these new extensions not only into the old Microsoft extension format but also into the Open Office format.

A variety of other formats are also supported, enabling you to convert your pptx files into whatever format is most useful for the program that you happen to be working in. The full list of supported formats is below:

  • html – Hypertext Markup Language
  • odp – OpenDocument presentation
  • pdf – Portable Document Format
  • png – Portable Network Graphic
  • ppt – Microsoft Powerpoint Presentation
  • ps – Postscript document
  • swf – Macromedia Flash Format File

One of my favourite aspects is the saving of YouTube videos. I often find material I want to share with others when we are not online. So saving videos to share offline is a great advantage of this tool.

The whole service is free for basic conversions, with a variable turnaround time. If you want faster conversions and online storage, then you can pay between US$7 and US$49 per month. Visit

Sendables – JibJab
This is an hilarious site from the US, where you can access sendable ecards and fun clips.

There is a focus on the upcoming US election with a fun rendition of The Times They Are A-Changin’, morphed into Time For Some Campaignin’. There are some classic lines that pull no punches in satirising all the main players, eg, Hilary Clinton sings about failing to quell Obama’s rising star, to which Bill Clinton says, alas you got close, but no cigar. You can see the video here:

However, one of my favourite videos on the site (by the way, you find the videos under the JibJab Originals tab/button) is What We Call The News. This is biting satire on the state of mass media news coverage. It highlights the shift from real news coverage to the crap news channels need to concoct or scrape out of the barrel to fill their voracious content demands and maintain titillation for extended periods. You can see this video here:

Kids Around Town
Found an interesting website about a book that is being launched this month (September 2008) called Kids Around Town. It is for parents in Adelaide and unlike other voucher books, is totally family-friendly.

The book will have around 230 vouchers offering freebies, 2 for 1 offers, and 10%-25% off offers. They add up to about $5,000 in savings and there are some competitions in the book too.

Interestingly, the book is not just vouchers. It also contains articles from Mem Fox and Dorinda Haffner, along with listings of favourite playgrounds, markets, parenting rooms and local libraries.

The lady behind this is Sheree Hyde, who created the business so she can work from home, and also so she could raise money for her daughter’s school.

Kids Around Town has been divided into seven sections including BUMPS & BUBS; HEALTHY & HAPPY; EATS & TREATS; WATCH, LEARN & PLAY; GIFTS, TOYS & MORE; LET’S PARTY!; and GETAWAYS.

From mid to late September 2008, the book can be purchased online and at selected retailers for only $28. It will also be available through many schools. Visit